• The University of Western Australia (M503), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth

    Australia

Calculated based on number of publications stored in Pure and citations from PlumX

Personal profile

Biography

Overview

Professor Lee is a recognised world leader in translational pleural research. His vision is a world without the burden of pleural effusion. His unique translational pleural program brings together clinicians, scientists and allied health researchers and is known for its novel ideas. His work has advanced patient care through multidisciplinary approaches that harmonise high-quality clinical trials and state-of the-art bench work.

Pleural effusions affect 23M people a year. Using robust clinical studies, he has challenged and disproved many decades-old practices in pleural disease, uncovered significant harm and redundancies and pioneered new therapies. His work has saved lives, cut morbidity and costs, improved quality of life and transformed care worldwide (cited by 20+ clinical guidelines). These paradigm shifts and the related high-profile papers (in NEJM, JAMA and Lancet group journals) have attracted unprecedented interest in pleural disease and established him as an international leader of Pleural Medicine as a new subspecialty.

He has a strong publication (330+ publications) and grant record ($22M, including successive NHMRC/MRFF Fellowships), has won many prestigious awards and is one of the most invited speakers in the field – see following sections. His program has inspired and trained 30+ next generation pleural leaders especially in the Asian Pacific, and made UWA a leading hub in pleural research.

 

Biography - Details

Professor Lee is a clinical scientist. Graduated from Otago University, he completed clinical respiratory training in Auckland and Perth when he recognised firsthand the unmet clinical need of pleural diseases and the many shortcomings of conventional pleural care. This inspired him to make pleural research his career focus. His bench and clinical pleural research training from his PhD studies (as a Fulbright Scholar at Vanderbilt University, USA) with Prof Richard Light and consecutive Wellcome fellowships (Oxford University and UCL, UK) provided him the foundation to lead a unique integrative pleural program.

Professor Lee was a Consultant and Senior Lecturer at the Oxford Centre for Respiratory Medicine when recruited to UWA in 2009 to build, from scratch, Southern Hemisphere’s first pleural program.  He brings together clinicians, scientists and allied health researchers to build a multidisciplinary integrated team (currently 10+ people), known for its novel ideas, productivity, and for challenging traditional teachings with vigorous scientific approaches.

His sustained research output over the last 25 years produced 330+ publications (70+% as first/senior author; H-index 65 [Google Scholar]; total citations >14500; 38 papers >100 cites) including 10+ papers in NEJM, JAMA and Lancet group journals.  His work has been cited in more than 20 international or national clinical practice guidelines, directly impacting clinical care. He has published 6 books including the award-winning Textbook of Pleural Diseases (most comprehensive pleural reference text).

The relevance of his work is reflected by the many speaking invitations: 400+ invited lectures in 240 international/national scientific meetings in 32 countries. He speaks regularly in all major respiratory conferences and has delivered grand round/lectures in many leading universities (eg Oxford, Imperial, UCL, Hopkins, NYU, UCLA etc) on pleural diseases.

His achievements have been recognised by the award of the Research Medal of the Thoracic Society of Australia & New Zealand (2021) and that of the Asian Pacific Society of Respirology (2016). He was the Cancer Researcher of the Year of the Cancer Council WA (2019) and the North Metropolitan Health Service Researcher of the Year (2021). He received the Eric Saint Memorial Award (2021) from the Asbestos Diseases Society Australia for service to asbestos disease sufferers. He was a finalist of the WA Premier’s Scientist of the Year in 2022.

He has helped inspire global acceptance of Pleural Medicine as a new subspecialty and has been instrumental in developing Pleural Medicine in Australasia and the Asia Pacific through collaborative projects, lectures, workshops, and training fellows/next-generation researchers, ensuring future progress.

Roles and responsibilities

Professor of Respiratory Medicine, UWA

Director of Pleural Services & Consultant Chest Physician, Respiratory Dept, SCGH

Head, Pleural Medicine Unit, the Institute for Respiratory Health

National Health & Medical Research Council Investigator Grant/Fellow

Honorary Professor of Medicine, University of Hong Kong

Adjunct Professor, School of Medical & Health Sciences, Edith Cowan University

 

Fellow, Royal Australasian College of Physicians

Fellow, Royal College of Physicians (Glasgow)

Fellow, American College of Chest Physicians

Previous positions

  • Editor, Respirology (official journal of the Asian Pacific Soc of Respirology)
  • Head of Department, Respiratory Medicine, SCGH
  • Clinical Co-Director, Institute for Respiratory Health
  • Consultant & Senior Lecturer, Oxford University and Oxford Ctr for Respiratory Med, UK
  • Senior Lecturer, University College London, UK
  • Fulbright Scholar, Vanderbilt University, USA

Research interests

Professor Lee’s pleural program uniquely integrates clinical care (one of the busiest pleural service in Australasia) with clinical and bench research to address patient-focused questions with unique platforms developed. The program has a range of active laboratory and clinical projects focusing on the diagnostics and treatment of common pleural conditions, especially infection (pleurisy) and pleural cancers - conditions with huge healthcare burdens.

He aims to i) employ multicentre randomised trials to test novel treatments that advance clinical care while minimising invasive pleural drainages; ii) improve patients' diagnostic journey with novel imaging techniques and cutting-edge bacterial detection methods; and iii) use multidisciplinary (nutrition, psychology, exercise) approaches to improve QoL of patients. He will continue prior successes in bringing new therapeutic targets from bench to clinical studies, especially in targeting pleural effusion formation and in stopping bacterial invasion of the pleura.

He has fostered a strong clinical/lab network with 687 published collaborators (21 countries) in the past 10 yrs.   

Current projects

Features of Professor Lee’s pleural program include:

A) Building and leading the Australasian Malignant Pleural Effusion (AMPLE) clinical trial network including Australasian and Asian centres, establishing the group as a leading hub of pleural research with established Clinical Trial Infrastructure: research fellows, trial/data managers, statistician, databases. The clinical trials arm has successfully delivered many studies including the practice-changing AMPLE-1, and -2 trials as well as ongoing/recently completed novel studies eg STOPPE and AIR. AMPLE-3 (NHMRC-funded) and AMPLE-4 (Cancer Council WA funded) are actively recruiting.

B) A bidirectional bench-to-bedside research pipeline. Well-phenotyped biospecimens from his clinics contribute to the world’s largest pleural biobank (Prof J Creaney). Discovery of novel therapeutic targets from his lab’s molecular and animal work have been tested in phase II clinical trials led by his clinical team.

C) Building the first multidisciplinary allied health research team in pleural disease and brings together researchers including pathologist, pharmacist, dietician, exercise physiologist, clinical psychologist etc to improve care.

Teaching overview

Professor Lee is an highly sought after speaker in respiratory conferences (see above) and an enthusiastic teacher. He has published 6 textbooks including 3 editions of the Textbook of Pleural Diseases (most comprehensive pleural reference text) which has won the British Medical Association Best Respiratory Text Award.

His world-renowned pleural fellowship program in SCGH/UWA has trained over 30 clinical/research fellows from 10 countries including advanced trainees from Oxford and Cambridge UK. Many of them have returned to their home state/country and set up the first pleural services throughout Australia and in New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Pakistan etc.  He has inspired 10+ high-quality clinicians and scientists (current/completed) to undertake PhD in pleural diseases.  

He has organized 10+ pleural courses/workshops in Australia and has been a key faculty to another 25 courses in 10+ countries especially in Asia Pacific. His pleural teaching on Twitter has over 1800 followers.

He has supervised 12 HDR students since 2010; many won prestigious awards. Successes of his fellows include the award of over $3.8M in scholarships from NHMRC, WA Cancer Palliative Care Network, European Respiratory Society and Dust Diseases Board etc and 100+ publications including first-author papers in JAMA, Lancet Resp Med and leading respiratory journals. Recent clinician PhD graduates have won NHMRC Early Career Fellowships (Drs Fysh and Thomas) and two allied health PhD graduates have been appointed to academic posts (UWA Pharmacy & Curtin Dietetics). Many graduates have built their own clinical/research pleural groups.

He reviews regularly for medical journals, grant bodies in Australia (NHMRC, Cancer Australia etc) and overseas, and for universities on promotion assessments.

Funding overview

Professor Lee has maintained competitive grant funding for his research program in the last 20+ years totalling over $22M ($9.2M as CIA). 

Since 2014, he has won successive fellowship support including NHMRC/MRFF Career Development Fellowship, Practitioner Fellowship and currently a NHMRC Investigator Grant/Fellowship. He has won research grants as a Chief Investigator from NHMRC, Cancer Australia, Dust Diseases Board, Cancer Council WA, WA Dept of Health, Sir Charles Gairdner RAC, MRC UK, Wellcome Trust, HK Lung Foundation etc. He is one of the Chief Investigators of two NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence awards to the National Centre for Asbestos Related Diseases since 2016.

Current grants

• Investigator Grant (Leadership 2), NHMRC, Australia. 2023-2027
Transforming Care and Outcomes for Patients with Pleural Effusion.
Lee YCG. (AUD$2,205,736)
 
• Project Grant, Clinical Trials & Cohort Studies, NHMRC, Australia. 2021-2025
Australasian Malignant Pleural Effusion (AMPLE)-3 trial.
Lee YCG, Maskell NA, Feller-Kopman D, Wright G, Murray K, Norman R, Fysh ETH, Newton R, Creaney J, Windsor M (AUD$1,105,748.65) 
 
• Centre of Research Excellence, NHMRC, Australia. 2021-2025 
The National Centre for Asbestos Related Diseases. 
Nowak A, Creaney J, Lee YCG, Lesterhuis W, Waddell N, Brims F, Francis R, Lake R, Takahashi K and Robinson BW. (AUD$2,500,000) 
 
• Research Project Grant, Cancer Council Western Australia, Australia. 2023-2024 
Topical Antibiotics Prophylaxis for Infections of Indwelling Pleural Catheters
Lee YCG, Maskell NA, Waterer G, Chakera A, Murray K, Sidhu, C. (AUD$119,973)
 
• Project Grant, Sir Charles Gairdner Research Advisory Committee, Australia. 2022-2023 
Topical Antibiotics Prophylaxis for Infections of Indwelling Pleural Catheters
Lee YCG. (AUD$30,000) 

 

Previous grants awarded since 2012

•  Practitioner Fellowship, Medical Research Future Fund Next Generation Clinical Researcher Program, NHMRC, Australia. 2018-2022 Translational research on malignant pleural effusion and pleural infection. Lee YCG. (AUD$481,155) 
 
•  Project Grant, iCare Dust Diseases Care Board, Australia. 2018-2020 Australasian Malignant PLeural Effusion (AMPLE) trial -3.  Lee YCG, Maskell N, Feller-Kopman D, Murray K, Creaney J & Newton RU. (AUD$299,871) 
 
•  Centre of Research Excellence Grant, NHMRC, Australia. 2016-2020 National Centre for Asbestos Related Diseases. Robinson BW, Creaney J, Lake R, Nowak A, Musk AW, Lesterhuis W, Lee YCG, Francis R, Holt R and Waddell N. (AUD$2,495,164) 
 
•  Project Grant, Sir Charles Gairdner Research Advisory Committee, Australia. 2021-2022 The Third PLeural Effusion And Symptom Evaluation (PLEASE-3) Study: Bendopnea in patients with pleural effusion. Lee YCG. (AUD$29,682)  
 
•  Project Grant, iCare Dust Diseases Care Board, Australia. 2020 Psychosocial impact and needs of mesothelioma patients/carers: A neglected area. Breen L, Lee YCG & Peddle- McIntyre C. (AUD$ 50,525) 
 
•  Project Grant, Sir Charles Gairdner Research Advisory Committee, Australia. 2020-2021 A multicentre placebo-controlled randomized clinical trial of systemic corticosteroid for adult patients with community-acquired pneumonia and associated pleural effusion. Lee YCG. (AUD$29,390) 
 
•  Project Grant, Sir Charles Gairdner Research Advisory Committee, Australia. 2019-2020 The role of citrate in the pathobiology of malignant pleural mesothelioma. Lee YCG. (AUD$29,900)
 
•  Project Grant, Sir Charles Gairdner Research Advisory Committee, Australia. 2018-2019 Steroid Therapy and Outcome of Parapneumonic Pleural Effusion (STOPPE) trial: a pilot multi-centre placebo-controlled randomized study. Lee YCG. (AUD$40,000) 
 
•  Project Grant, Hong Kong Lung Foundation, Hong Kong. 2018-2020 To determine the efficacy of autologous blood patch therapy in reducing air leak in secondary spontaneous pneumothorax: A proof-of-concept study (HKD$170,000) Ngai CL, Lee YCG, Ng SS, Chan KP, Hui DSC, Lam WK. 
 
•  Project Grant, Hong Kong Lung Foundation, Hong Kong. 2018 Activity behaviors in patients with malignant pleural effusion: relationships with quality of life, and respiratory symptoms, and survival (HKD$40,000) Lam DCC, Lui M, Lee YCG, Chan J, Law W-L, Yeung Y-C, Ngai J. 
 
•  Project Grant, NSW Workers' Compensation Dust Disease Board, Australia. 2016-2018 Phase II Trial of a Novel FGF-Receptor Antagonist in Mesothelioma. Lee YCG, Creaney J, Nowak A, Millward M and Musk AW. (AUD$249,877)
 
•  Project Grant, Cancer Council of Western Australia, Australia. 2018 Targeting MCP-1 as a novel therapy for mesothelioma and malignant pleural effusion. Lansley S, Creaney J, Lee YCG, Thomas R & Feindel KW. (AUD$95,738)
 
•  Project Grant, NHMRC, Australia. 2015-2018 A randomised controlled trial of interventional versus conservative treatment of primary spontaneous pneumothorax. Brown S, Keijzers G, Smith J, Lee YCG. (AUD$401,143) 
 
•  Project Grant, NHMRC, Australia. 2017-2019 Compartmental analysis of T-cell responses in thoracic malignancies. Robinson BWS, Lee YCG, Creaney J, Lake R, Holt R, Nowak A, Watson M, Pearson J & Chee J. (AUD$851,402) 
 
•  Project Support, the Cancer Research Trust Single Cancer Cell Initiative 2017. Single cell sequencing in pleural effusions of malignant mesothelioma patients. Creaney J, Robinson BWS, Lee YCG, Muiri DO. (AUD$30,000 in research costs)
 
•  Project Grant, Sir Charles Gairdner Research Advisory Committee, Australia. 2017 Australasian Malignant PLeural Effusion (AMPLE) Trial-3: a multicentre randomized study comparing surgical pleurodesis vs indwelling pleural catheter for management of malignant pleural effusions. Lee YCG. (AUD$40,000) 
 
•  Project Grant, Cancer Council of Western Australia, Australia. 2017 The effect of FGF-9 on anti-tumour immunity in mesothelioma. Lansley SM, Lee YCG, Creaney J, Robinson BWS.
 
•  Project Grant, Sir Charles Gairdner Research Advisory Committee, Australia. 2016 PLeural Effusion And Symptom Evaluation (PLEASE) Study: A comprehensive study of breathlessness in patients with a pleural effusion. Lee YCG. (AUD$50,000) Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, Perth, Australia.
 
•  Project Grant, Cancer Council of Western Australia, Australia. 2016 Australasian Malignant Pleural Effusion (AMPLE) Trial-2. Lee YCG, Maskell N, Murray K, Creaney J, Newton R and Thomas R. (AUD$100,000) 
 
•  Project Grant, Cancer Australia, Australia. 2016 Identification of the molecular networks that drive mesothelioma invasion. Lesterhuis W, Bosco A, Lee YCG, Lake R and Lansley S. (AUD$100,000) 
 
•  Project Grant, NSW Workers' Compensation Dust Disease Board, Australia. 2015-2016 Establishing the biological activities of malignant effusions in malignant pleural mesothelioma. Creaney J and Lee YCG. (AUD$239,432) 
 
•  Project Grant, Sir Charles Gairdner Research Advisory Committee, Australia.  2015-2016 Australasian Malignant Pleural Effusion (AMPLE) Trial-2. Lee YCG. (AUD$45,000)
 
•  Project Grant, Cancer Council of Western Australia, Australia. 2015 A comprehensive study of breathlessness in patients with a malignant pleural effusion. Lee YCG, Eastwood PR, Jenkins S, Singh B and Thomas R. (AUD$99,966)
 
•  Project Grant, Sir Charles Gairdner Research Advisory Committee, Australia. 2014 Australasian Malignant PLeural Effusion (AMPLE) Trial – a multi-national multi-centre randomised clinical trial. Lee YCG. (AUD$39,626) 
 
•  Alan King Westcare Project Grant, Lung Institute of Western Australia, Australia. 2014 Translational research program in pleural infection. Lee YCG. (AUD$50,000)
 
•  Project Grant, Cancer Council of Western Australia, Australia. 2014 Outcomes and predictors of efficacy of palliative radiotherapy in patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma. Nowak A, Francis R, Lee YCG, Bydder S, Creaney J. (AUD$99,679)
 
•  Project Grant, NHMRC, Australia. 2013-2015 Therapeutic targeting of a new growth factor in mesothelioma. Lee YCG and Creaney J. (AUD$306,806)
 
•  Career Development Fellowship (Level II), NHMRC, Australia. 2013-2016 Lee YCG. (AUD$307,944) 
 
•  Project Grant, Sir Charles Gairdner Research Advisory Committee, Australia. 2013 Optimizing the use of indwelling pleural catheter in management of malignant pleural effusions. Lee YCG. (AUD$50,000) 
 
•  Project Grant, NSW Workers' Compensation Dust Disease Board, Australia. 2012-2014 Fibroblast Growth Factor 9: a novel therapeutic and biomarker target in mesothelioma. Lee YCG and Creaney J. (AUD$249,420) 
 
•  Project Grant, NSW Workers' Compensation Dust Disease Board, Australia. 2012-2014 A multicentre randomised study comparing indwelling pleural catheter vs talc pleurodesis in patients with mesothelioma or other malignant pleural effusions. Fysh E, Lee YCG and Musk AW. (AUD$246,168) 
 
•  Project Grant, Sir Charles Gairdner Research Advisory Committee, Australia. 2012 Biological roles of malignant pleural fluid in the carcinogenesis of mesothelioma Lee YCG. (AUD$49,825)
 
•  Project Grant, Sir Charles Gairdner Research Advisory Committee, Australia. 2012 A Phase 1, open label, non-randomised safety trial of intra-abdominal tPA and DNase in peritoneal dialysis patients with peritonitis. Chakera A, Boudville N and Lee YCG. (AUD$42,690) 
 
•  Project Grant, Cancer Council of Western Australia, Australia. 2012 A multicentre randomized study comparing indwelling pleural catheter v talc pleurodesis in patients with a malignant pleural effusion. Lee YCG, Waterer GW, Musk AW and Millward M. (AUD$61,807) 
 
• Alan King Westcare Project Grant, Australia. 2012 Translational research in pleural infection to optimize antibiotics choice and improve pus drainage. Lee YCG, Kay I, Lansley S and Brown JS. (AUD$50,000) 
 

Industrial relevance

Professor Lee has built strong partnerships with industry and served as an advisor on designing next-generation pleural drainage devices (especially for malignant pleural effusions) and new therapeutics for pleural infection. He has secured over $500K in pleural drainage kits for free and access to novel products (eg pleural immunotherapy) for his trial patients.

His expertise is recognized internationally via invited seats on Strategic Boards (eg American College of Chest Physicians, Asian Pacific Soc of Respirology) and 12 Trial Steering panels which have facilitated translation of clinical research into clinical practise.

  

Community engagement

As a clinician, he understands firsthand the importance of aligning his research with patient priorities. He setup Australasia’s first Pleural Consumer Reference Group to keep his research patient-focused. The direct patient benefits of his work are recognised by consumers, eg with the Eric Saint Award 2021 from the Asbestos Disease Society Australia for service and dedication to asbestos sufferers.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Transforming Growth Factor beta in Pleural Fibrosis (research performed at Vanderbilt University, USA), The University of Western Australia

Award Date: 15 Nov 2002

Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBChB), University of Otago

Award Date: 2 Dec 1991

Research expertise keywords

  • Pleural Disease
  • Respiratory medicine
  • Mesothelioma
  • Empyema

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics where Gary Lee is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
  • 1 Similar Profiles

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or